But after an aggressive series of moves heading into the trade deadline by general manager Jon Daniels, the Rangers are now positioned as perhaps the league favorite to get to the World Series.
Obviously the marquee move that the Rangers made was one they made with the Milwaukee Brewers, netting them catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Obviously, the big draw there is Lucroy as he is one of the top backstops in the game thanks to a combination of a strong bat as well as a good glove and a strong arm. Lucroy was able to nix a deal to the Indians thanks to his no-trade clause and that is certainly beneficial for a team like the Rangers that has gotten mediocre play from behind the plate all season long.
Lucroy and Carlos Beltran, also acquired yesterday, will certainly help upgrade what already was one of the better offenses in Major League Baseball. Beltran may be in his upper thirties but he hasn't shown it thus far with one of his best hitting seasons in years (he has already hit more home runs this season than he has since 2013). The Rangers have not gotten much production from the designated hitter slot and Beltran will certainly help there.
Back to Jeffress, he is more than just an add-on in a deal centered on the aforementioned Lucroy. Although there are some solid arms that can bring the gas in the Texas bullpen, it is a unit that has struggled from time to time this season. Jeffress, in his second stint with the Brewers, really has pitched well as the closer for the Brewers this season and he will certainly add more depth to the back-end of the pitching staff.
The Rangers, as you would expect, did have to give up a number of young prospects from their farm system but in what is certainly a good thing for the future, they did not sell the whole farm. Their marquee pieces, guys like Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar, are still in the organization. But with this flurry of transactions, the Rangers have made it clear that the expectations are high once the postseason comes.